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Residential building statistics
Absa - South Africa
Growth in residential building activity remains under pressure

Levels of residential building activity in the South African market for new housing remained subdued in the first ten months of 2013, with year-on-year growth in activity levels in both the planning and construction phases at between 3% and 4% over this period. The segment of flats and townhouses remained the best-performing category with regard to growth in residential building activity up to October this year.

A total number of almost 1 120 000 private sector-financed new housing units were built county-wide from the beginning of 1994 up to October this year, of which about 821 000 units, or 73,3% of the total, were constructed in the segments for smaller-sized houses of below 80m² and higher-density flats and townhouses.

October 2013 saw the number of new housing units for which building plans were approved, declining by 1,9% year-on-year (y/y) to 5 205 units, but rising by as much as 921 units from September this year. This month-on-month increase in the volume of plans approved occurred in both segments of houses as well as in the segment for flats and townhouses.
Building stats Oct 2013

Change of fortune for Joburg inner city
IolProperty - South Africa
Joburg's inner city has come full circle since the flight of citizens and their capital began in the 1970s.

Forty years later new people have moved in, money is flowing back and cultural precincts are springing up.

An example of this is the Maboneng Precinct on the eastern fringe of Joburg's central business district, in which Futuregrowth Asset Management and TUHF have agreed to provide a joint funding facility of R200 million, split 70:30, for development.

Futuregrowth Asset Management will be the primary funder in this partnership, but will use TUHF's management expertise and skills to oversee the building refurbishments and upgrades over the term of the funding.

Rising home prices lead to bank valuation challenges
Rawson - South Africa
There is, says Wayne Albutt, the Rawson Property Group’s Regional Sales Manager in the Western Cape, a very real possibility that bond awards will drop in the next few months.

This, he said, is due to residential property prices rising quite dramatically in the last few months, which in turn is making it difficult for banks to find full value in the properties they are asked to finance. The latest Absa report indicates that middle sector housing has been rising at over 9% year-on-year.

“In these conditions,” said Albutt, “on-the-ball estate agents need to push for high deposits and to prepare themselves for on-going negotiations with banks to justify and validate the prices they are achieving and subsequent increased values.”

Residential real estate market on solid ground heading into 2014
Seeff - South Africa
Trading conditions in the primary urban sectors of the market over the last year have been at the best levels since the economic down-turn. Provided that the economy remains stable, we anticipate a good year for real estate with buyer sentiment and the willingness to buy continuing to strengthen.

Encouragingly, serious sellers have started heeding the call of real estate professionals to adjust their pricing expectations in line with market dynamics. This has meant that some of the oversupply of stock in the primary urban areas has started clearing with stock shortages becoming a challenge for agents. This in turn paves the way for those looking to sell to get their properties listed and now is indeed an opportune time for serious sellers.

Vital though, if you hope to succeed in selling, is that you understand the prevailing market conditions and work with a credible real estate agent to ensure that your home is priced just right. The economic conditions are simply not conducive to price increases beyond the prevailing modest growth levels that are set to persist this year. Having said this, sellers in many areas are seeing good offers, sometimes even multiple offers and getting closer to their asking prices.

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